20th all-time event in Marne, Michigan produces familiar repeat winner
Marne, Michigan (Saturday, May 16, 2015): The third race of the 2015 racing season for the ARCA/CRA Super Series Powered by JEGS, the Berlin 125 was on Saturday, May 16th. The famed 7/16s (0.437) mile semi-banked paved oval of Berlin Raceway, located west of Grand Rapids in Marne, Michigan. This race also served as the only tune-up for ARCA / CRA competitors before the first race of the JEGS / CRA $100,000 Super Late Model Triple Crown Series race, which will also be ran at Berlin, the Battle at Berlin 251 on Tuesday, June 16th.
The 20th all-time appearance at the tricky West Michigan oval would prove to be one for the record books in a number of ways. Standing in victory lane would be a familiar face to the Berlin Raceway fans and to the patrons of the ARCA/CRA Super Series; Wyoming, Michigan veteran, Brian Campbell would be the one celebrating as he would score his second victory of the season in the series and his 16th career ARCA/CRA triumph, good for fifth all-time and just two out of third on the all-time wins list. Of those 16 trips to victory lane, seven have come at his home track in Marne, Michigan.
“What can I say, I love this place. Its home. We were fast all weekend long from the moment we unloaded the car off the hauler yesterday for practice day.” Explained the 36-year-old pilot of the familiar #47 Rusche Trucking / Enterprise Iron & Metal / Ford after his win, the third of the season including the tracks Boyne Machine Company Super Late Model Series opener on May 2nd. “We had to avoid a couple of wrecks and some other moments there, but we got through it all. Seems like no one wanted to lead for too long, so we kept getting out in front and later in the race the car just kept getting better and here we are, again.” Smiled the Great Lakes State standout.
Six-Time Berlin Raceway Track Champion, Ross Meeuwsen and Alec Carll would lead the star-studded 26-car field to Chief Starter, Brian Duncan’s green flag to begin the 125-lap main event. Meeuwsen would beat Carll and the rest of the field to the first corner to grab the early lead. On lap nine, Carll would regroup and drive past Meeuwsen to take over the top spot. He would bring Campbell with him and on lap 12; it would be Campbell who would complete the pass of Carll to grab the lead for the first time.
Barry Hartwell also followed Campbell past Carll to take over second and began hounding the home track favorite. On lap 15, Hartwell pulled off the rare occurrence of passing Campbell at his home track and began pulling away from him and the rest of the field. On lap 31 Hartwell’s car suddenly slowed forcing the field behind him to take evasive action. Campbell drove through the infield to avoid Hartwell’s ailing machine, but Carll wasn’t as fortunate and slammed into the back end of Hartwell’s car sending both into the front stretch wall. Both drivers were ok but done for the evening.
This handed the lead back to Campbell who now had 2014 Outlaw Super Late Model Track Champion at Berlin, Terry Senneker Jr., and the two drivers staged an epic battle for the lead before Senneker Jr., would clear Campbell on lap 43 to take over the top spot. Soon afterwards, sparks began emitting from underneath Senneker Jr.’s machine. On lap 64 oil began pouring from Senneker Jr.’s entry as a result of a hole being ground into the dry sump tank. This forced officials to throw a red flag for an extensive cleanup.
On the next restart, it would again be Campbell out in front and this time there was no challenging the home track favorite and one of the most successful drivers at Berlin in recent history at the track. Campbell pulled away to a convincing win. Campbell would make the short trip back home to Wyoming, Michigan with a plethora of awards including the Team Construction Clean Sweep Award, which had climbed to $400 after he won the EDCO Welding Fast Qualifier Award and then the Berlin 125. In addition, he also picked up the AR Bodies Cool Move of the Race Award after narrowly escaping the Hartwell/Carll accident. He also walked away with both the VanDoorn Racing Development Lap Leader Award and Fastest Practice Lap Award and finally received $500 in Port City Racecars Bonus Purse Money,
Another veteran Joe Bush, a three-time Track Champion at the West Michigan facility in 1992, 1993 and 2004 came home with a career high in ARCA/CRA Super Series competition, a second place finish. The 48-year-old driver of the #101L Racing Awareness Supporting Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital / Chevrolet never left the top five throughout the entire event. The Hastings. Michigan driver also collected the $250 in Port City Racecars Bonus Purse Money for his second place effort.
Chris Anthony finished third in his #55 Coors Light-Kent Beverage Company / Chevrolet as the Walker, Michigan driver also collected the C.V. Racing Products Hard-Charger Award as well as the first Hoosier Racing Tire Performance Award for his impressive 19th to third place run. The 32-year-old also scored $250 in Port City Racecars Bonus Purse Money as part of his accolades.
Joe Bush’s daughter, Lauren Bush scored a career high fourth place showing in her #101 Enterprise Iron & Metal / Chevrolet after starting in the 12th position. The 21-year-old from Hastings, Michigan also grabbed the FLUIDYNE High Performance Cool Under Pressure Award for quickly placing herself in the top 10 and never wavering despite the heavy array of challengers around her. 19-year-old Cody Coughlin, the 2013 JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Champion completed the top five in his #1 JEGS.com / Toyota. The Delaware, Ohio competitor, part of the Joe Gibbs Racing Driver Development program started back in 21st and picked up the Hedman Hedders Husler Award. Both L. Bush and Coughlin also received $250 in Port City Racecars Bonus Purse Money as well.
Overall and Rookie of the Year Points Leader, 16-year-old Grant Quinlan scored the Senneker Performance Rookie of the Race Award with his sixth place showing while JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Points Leader, Dalton Armstrong made a rare ARCA/CRA Super Series start and was rewarded with a seventh place effort. Meeuwsen hung on for an eight place finish after being involved in a midrace spin as 17-year-old rookie, Hunter Baize grabbed the ninth place finish on the grid. 2014 Rookie of the Year, Wes Griffith Jr., collected the second Hoosier Racing Tire Performance Award with his 25th to 10th place run and completed the top 10.
Earlier in the afternoon in EDCO Welding Qualifying, Campbell scored his seventh career Fast Qualifier Award to move him into a five-way tie for 10th all-time in series history. His lap was a 16.064 which measures out to 98.157mph. The Track Record at Berlin remains a 15.829 set by Three-Time ARCA/CRA Super Series Champion, Scott Hantz who turned the lap back on October 10th, 2009.
The next event of the 2015 racing season for the ARCA/CRA Super Series Powered by JEGS will see the cars and stars of Champion Racing Association (CRA) Powered by JEGS go head to head with their counterparts within the ARCA Midwest Tour Presented by Scag Power Equipment. The Chicagoland Showdown is set for Memorial Day Monday, May 25th at the big 1/2 (0.500) mile semi-banked paved oval of Illiana Motor Speedway, located south of Gary, Indiana and just east of the Illinois / Indiana state line in Schererville, Indiana.
The unique triple 50s format will see the ARCA/CRA Super Series teams compete in a 50-lap qualifier race for ARCA/CRA points while the ARCA Midwest Tour contingent compete in a separate 50-lap qualifier race for Midwest Tour points. Then the two tours will collide head to head in the final 50-lap headliner paying $5,000 to win. The top 12 from each qualifier transfer to the final 50 lap Showdown with Provisionals filling out the remainder of the 30-car starting field.
In seven all-time appearances by the ARCA/CRA Super Series at Illiana, Chicagoland veteran, Eddie Hoffman has two victories while 2014 ARCA Midwest Tour Champion, Ty Majeski was the most recent winner and is the defending event winner of this event. Boris Jurkovic, Dave Weltmeyer, Nathan Haseleu and Three-Time ARCA/CRA Super Series Champion, Scott Hantz all have single victories as well.
For more information about the 2015 racing season for all four touring series’ within Champion Racing Association Powered by JEGS, go to the new and improved series website located at: www.cra-racing.com You can also follow along with all of CRA’s touring series’ on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/ChampionRacingAssociation and on Twitter at: www.twitter.com/CRAracing Finally, for more information about Anderson Speedway, the host track for the fourth race of the year for the ARCA/CRA Super Series, go to the track website at: www.illianaspeedway.com
The Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) is among the leading auto racing sanctioning bodies in the country. Founded in 1953 by John and Mildred Marcum, the organization administers more than 100 events each year in multiple racing series, including the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards, the ARCA/CRA Super Series, the ARCA Truck Series and the ARCA Midwest Tour, plus weekly racing at Toledo and Flat Rock Speedways.